Interview with Hot Toys Designer Kato on The Joker 2.0ís Costume

by Jay Cochran
June 18, 2012
Hot Toys sends over this interview with their costume artist Kato to talk about his insight and details of the upcoming Joker 2.0 costume. Check it out below:

Question: Let's start with the origin. Being a 1/6th scale figure costume designer is not common, what made you get interested in it?

Kato: Honestly, I don't think that I would become an 1/6th scale costume artist before. However, because of an occasional opportunity, I got my first 12" figure of Medicom Masked Rider. I was very impressed by its actual likeness, so I started to purchase 12" collectible figures. However, I could not find any toy stores which offer satisfactory 1/6th scale figure costume at that time, so I started to custom-make some costumes for the 1/6th scale figures, with knowledge learnt from the Fashion & Clothing Technology in the Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute.

Question: What is the most difficult step for the development of The Joker 2.0 costume? And why?

Kato: Throughout the process of the development of The Joker 2.0ís costume, I think researching and sourcing are the most difficult parts. For the research, it is hard to find some high resolution and accurate references from the movie company as The Jokerís costume in the movie was specially tailored. Also, there is less detailed information of the interior parts of the movie costume, so I need some imaginations for designing. For sourcing, I tried my best to source many different kinds of fabric materials which are as movie-accurate as possible, no matter the details, color, thickness and pattern, but some fabric cannot be found in the existing markets, such as The Jokerís printed dress shirt which is very detailed with patterns, so I needed to redesign the artwork with the help of my friend who is the specialist in graphic design and have them printed by factory.

Question: As we know that you have put much efforts on the craftsmanship on pleated details in order to keep the aesthetics of The Joker as a whole, would you please tell us more about that?

Kato: Yes. We have put much efforts on the pleated details by applying the delicate pleated craftsmanship, so the costume can present The Jokerís aesthetics with our advanced tailored skill, but sorry that I cannot talk much about the details here.

Question: How do you make it different from DX01?

Kato: Comparing with the DX01 figure, the most difference will be the silhouette of the suit. We have applied the softer and finer material to tailor The Jokerís outfit, so it won't be bulky after putting on all the clothes on the body as if it looks like the real costume. Also many people are not aware of some details such as The Jokerís tie. Unlike other products which are mostly using the fake one, in The Joker 2.0, it is a real tie using "Four in One Knot" to knot it, which is based on the same styling in the movie to make it as accurate as possible.

Question: Any highlights of this costume that you would like to let our fans know more?

Kato: I guess it would be the best costume which fits his advanced body, with well tailored movie-accurate cutting and materials. We will make this costume like making real clothing for humans. Focusing on details such as the peaked lapel of the overcoat, the making of real shirt cuff opening, sleeve head tailoring and tiny edge stitching along the vest and shirt is very important.

Question: How do you ensure the quality control of stocks to meet with customersí high expectations?

Kato: I provide the technical support to the factory to maintain the high quality. Also, I have prepared a lot of production reference to workers so that they can follow the guidelines steps by steps.

Question: Do you have any other projects that would like to collaborate with Hot Toys in the future?

Kato: I love to make 1/6th scale suit so much, so for every character that has a suit, I would like to make it such as those in Iron Man 2 - Tony Stark wearing Tuxedo, Black Widow in secretary look and Christopher Reeves Superman - Clark Kent in reporter look.
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